When you aren’t improving, and it’s hard to keep trying.
Dear manatee, I love to draw and I draw fairly often, but I feel like I’m not making any progress or getting any better at it. I don’t have a lot of time to devote to art and I get distracted easily so I never finish any big projects that I start. It makes me feel like I’m not good and I should stop trying and I get so sad - nothing feels fun anymore. I know I should keep at it but it’s hard. Some days everything feels so hard, like I’m riding a bike uphill against the wind. What should I do?
Why, hello there Drakansa! How lovely to see you.
It can be hard to keep up with something if we feel like we aren’t improving. But I know for a fact that every time you draw, you are a little better than you were before. Even if you can’t see it.
Please don’t stop trying to do something you care about, just because you feel like you aren’t good enough. You are good enough. Even if you can’t sit down and do the picture picture in the perfect non-distracting peace, that doesn’t mean that what you are doing isn’t valuable and important.
I think the most important thing to make it over this, is to try and remember that not everything has to be amazing all the time. You are allowed to not improve. You are allowed to get distracted and not finish things. You are allowed to take breaks. You are allowed to make things just because you like them, with no real purpose.
Please stop focusing on the bad things, and focus on the good things that you are doing. If you are stuck, maybe pick one little thing and just do that for a while, until you are an expert at that one little thing. Or, maybe you should take a bit of a break. Say “I am not going to draw anything for a whole week, and then I am going to sit down and draw the first thing that comes to mind and then I am going to send it to Manatee so Manatee can frame it because Manatee loves all of my art, because it is special and wonderful just like me.”
It is important to keep trying, and I would be so sad if you didn’t do your art anymore. Keep trying. I believe in you.
Ok manatee. I’ll try that :)
It’s really good to hear that my art doesn’t have to be perfect, or even good! Sometimes I guess I just expect to much from myself, I demand that every little doodle I sit down to ends up being some sort of masterpiece, and then I only ever disappoint myself… I’m really my own worst enemy…
Maybe instead of taking a break though I’ll make a deal with myself that I’m only going to doodle with a medium I feel more comfortable with, and then only try to make bad drawings so I don’t get so discouraged. A “Bad Drawing” week actually sounds really fun! Maybe Jon and I can draw bears riding knife-wielding dinosaurs or something, and then laugh at how bad our drawings are.
I’ve been pushing myself to make really amazing ambitious digital art, but I only just started doing art digitally less than a year ago. I should try to remember that I’m still just learning it and it’s ok if all of my digital drawings are bad right now.
I can see this a little more clearly now and I don’t feel so bad.
Thank you manatee! <3